Housing discussion paper deserves factual response
The discussion paper for a Local Housing Strategy is now posted for comment by Central Coast Council.
Assuming that the strategy, when it finally emerges, is not just the usual collection of platitudes and unachievable goals so common to council documents, this would be the most important statement of purpose that most residents of Central Coast will ever see.
The whole future form and fabric of Central Coast will be shaped by what is spelled out in the strategy, and every neighbourhood environment will be affected by the provisions of the strategy.
Anybody who is concerned about the quality of life in Central Coast over the coming quarter-century should note what is proposed and take the opportunity to express an opinion on the contents of the discussion paper.
For the easiest avenue, there is an online questionnaire that can be filled out in a few minutes.
However, as with most questionnaires, particularly those used by Council, many of the questions are slanted to give an answer that is suggested (or even required) by the wording.
Accordingly, anyone who wants to express a nuanced view will have to formulate a specific e-mail submission for which there is a provision.
Of course, there is nothing to inhibit an interested person in doing both, and this might be the best approach.
If there are few submissions, this will be used by council as evidence that the vast majority are happy with the directions suggested by the paper, so the opportunity to comment should be taken seriously.
It will be no use complaining afterwards, if policies are adopted that don't meet community wishes.
The paper contains a wealth of information (it is one of the few worthwhile council documents that I've seen) that should be studied carefully.
Anyone making a submission should, if possible, refer to specific facts given in the paper and not make general assumptions that can be contradicted by evidence.
This kind of careless rendering of unsupported opinion can be used to discredit the usefulness of community participation which is already in danger at both council and state levels.
It is clear that the intention of the state government is to whittle away the role of local government in development planning, so a strong Local Housing Strategy would be a protection against this trend.
The state's Central Coast Regional Plan is innocuous enough to be tolerated but we could be lumbered with much worse, if we don't protect ourselves now.
Email, 31 Jan 2022
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy.